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NASA has officially attached a helicopter to the Mars 2020 Rover

NASA has officially attached a helicopter to the Mars 2020 Rover

Mars Helicopter is a twin-rotor, solar-powered helicopter and it was connected along with the Mars Helicopter Delivery system, to a plate on the rover's belly. Open to K-12 students in USA public, private, and home schools, it is an essay contest in which students will be asked to name the robotic space traveler and explain the reasons behind their chosen appellation.

NASA has announced a new contest to engage students in, this contest will allow for students from public, private and home schools to name the Mars 2020 rover.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said: "This naming contest is a wonderful opportunity for our nation's youth to get involved with NASA's Moon to Mars missions".

The deadline to enter the contest in November 1, 2019, and the victor will be announced February 18, 2020, one year before the rover is expected to land on the surface of Mars.

The essay is to be no longer than 150 words and should explain the name they are proposing.

Fifty-two semifinalists will be selected per group, each representing their respective state or USA territory.

The grand prize victor will not only get to name to new rover, but they will get to travel to watch this new Martian explorer launch in July 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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The rover will fly to Mars to study the planet's climate, geology but, more importantly, the rover will collect rock samples for returns to Earth.

Those over 18 years old who want to help judge the entries coming in from all over the country can sign up online.

Now that they've finished putting all major instruments onboard, and have finished the initial function checks, the team is preparing the rover and its sky crane descent stage for the next big test: simulating the vibration dynamics of launch, as well as the thermal environment the rover will experience on the Martian surface. "Joined now to the 2020 rover, it is yet another example of how NASA's Artemis generation is expanding humanity's reach in our solar system".

ESA's Rosalind Franklin ExoMars 2020 Mars rover is off to France for environmental and launch testing.

Yesterday (Aug. 27), the space agency began asking K-12 students around the United States to submit monikers for the life-hunting, sample-caching robotic explorer, which is now known as Mars 2020. From there, three finalists will be chosen to advance to the final round.

Eventually, just nine entries will remain and those will be open for public voting in January of next year.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, manages rover development for the agency.